I have spent the past 21 years making assumptions about the amazing concept of long-term traveling; education-based, business trips, having family abroad, or come across a rare opportunity somehow to enable that sort of expedition. As of the year 2011, I came to the realization that my assumptions carried zero value.
Thanks to a variety of factors this year, I really felt as if I cracked my own code to re-framing my reality. A valuable life moment such as being shown The Secret documentary for the first time by my poetess gal pal Renee. As we were sipping our red wines and watching this absurd yet simple message, it made some sense - - at least, I think it did. I would go back and forth with the idea of positive thinking in high correlation with happiness. Many questions arose:
Is this a bunch of mumbo-jumbo that was intelligently marketed??
How do thoughts such as 'I will be happy' differ from 'I don't want to be sad'?
Are our behaviors governed by our thoughts?
And if so, does that concept essentially prove the power of positive thinking?
I was about 22 or 23 years old when I watched that doc. Gradually, I would give this new-found framework of thinking a shot to see different results in my life. Following that event, I picked up The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and was mostly taken by the 3rd agreement:
"Don’t make assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life."
I never realized how unproductive making an assumption was until now.
'I'll never be able to afford something like that', 'School is not for me; I wasn't good at it back then so I won't be good for it now', 'With a job market like this, the (insert industry name) is too risky and would never land a decent-paying job doing what I truly love', 'Tokyo? Sweden? Paris?!? I don't have that type of money and freedom to ever see the other side of the world..."
Catch my drift?
Whoever taught us our own assumptions are always going to be 100% correct? Aren't assumptions just thoughts of the future? If it hasn't actually happened in the past or in the present moment, then it's not even real! When assuming anything, we are wasting our present moments. Rather than wasting time by making assumptions, do something about it and find out.
Next time you catch yourself assuming your dreams away, do remember there is never a wrong time to take a step forward and possibly even fuck up. Because that's just it, we won't ever find out if we fucked up or not if we stuck to one possibility: fucking up. We are human after all and wouldn't be the person we are today if we never took that leap of faith, in a sense.
Like I said from the first paragraph of this blog, I always thought long-term traveling was completely out of my reach. I assumed someone like myself could never be the female version of Christopher McCandless by taking on such an unconventional way of traveling. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the book Eat, Pray, Love realized she wasn't forced to continue living an unhappy life and started to make tangible decisions.
Have confidence in what makes you happy; don't assume it's always going to lead to failure. Without the experience of failing, dreams will never come true.
If I didn't have 100% confidence that I will do everything possible to make this dream a reality..If I didn't face my vulnerabilities or fears of couchsurfing.com in New York..If I never purchased the one-way ticket months in advance (to hold myself accountable)- - I wouldn't be up at 2:24 Arizona time typing this up.